Faith leaders are encouraging others to help their neighbours and the community during the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic.

The Government announced on Monday (March 23) that people should only be allowed to leave their homes for essential shopping, medical reasons, to help a vulnerable person and to travel to and from work, if absolutely necessary.

Places of worships were called to be closed, along with shops selling non-essential goods, libraries, playgrounds and outdoor gyms.

Three religious leaders have given advice about what people can do in self-isolation while churches, synagogues and other places of worship are closed.

Rabbi Yosef Sharfstein, who is also director of Bushey Chabad, said people should be there for the physical, mental and spiritual wellbeing of your neighbours during these "turbulent times".

He said: "Faith, tradition and community have never been more important than now.

"It is so beautiful to see the outpouring of support."

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Rabbi Yosef Sharfstein of Bushey Chabad. Photo: UGC

He has also suspended all physical events at Bushey Chabad to follow Government guidelines, but instead he is using the "blessings of modern technology", by switching to Facebook live, video classes and running over-the-phone support groups.

He added: "Although synagogues may be closed, the main focal point of Judaism has always been the personal home. It is where we experience and celebrate some of our greatest traditions.

"On a personal note, the effect of the virus has definitely challenged us to recalculate our priorities and what we consider important and that's not necessarily a bad thing.

"In fact, it can be a time for real growth. So stay safe, stay calm and re-focus."

Reverend Duncan Campbell of Christ Church and St Mark's in Watford said the church is following the policy by the Church of England.

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Reverend James Duncan Campbell. Photo: UGC

The church is closed except for their Watford Food Bank at Christ Church halls on Thursday mornings, but the team "will be following all appropriate safety advice".

He said: "This is a very challenging time for our communities and we want everyone to stay safe, look after each other and particularly to check on vulnerable neighbours.

"My words of encouragement are from the beginning of St John's gospel 'the light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it'."

He is also encouraging people to pray at home with online materials at

St Lawrence Church in Abbots Langley is now closed and Reverend Dr Peter Waddell is now encouraging people to pray at home.

He said: "Everyone should be staying at home unless it is really essential to go out.

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Peter Waddell. Photo: UGC

"Now more than ever, we need to pay attention to our spiritual roots, so yes, pray."

Mr Waddell said he was struck by how good people are and the willingness they have to help others during the pandemic.

He added: "Nobody can ever say for sure what the future holds, and being scared is quite natural.

"But we're going to get through this, and we will come out the other side as a stronger and better community."

He said funerals will now take place at the crematorium or at the graveside, with immediate family only.

He added: "One thing some people are thinking about is having small funerals now, and a big memorial services later, once we're out of this crisis."